I met Kimberly Van Schoyck at a special time in my life. We were both single, working in the fashion/retail industry in New York City. The spark was immediate. I had met a kindred spirit. 15 years later our lives have somehow managed to follow a parallel path. We got married, had kids and started our solo ventures around the same time. She has been my sounding board and confidante. She calls it like it is but has a heart of solid gold. I once described Kimberly as the person I would most like to be with if deserted on an island. I know we would have an amazing time and we would figure out how to survive in style. And random fact: we were both born in the same hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio!
Name: Kimberly Van Schoyck
Where do you live?
Where were you born?
Cincinnati, OH. I only spent a few years there, but in my adult life have connected with so many amazing and talented people from Cincinnati (this includes you Stella!). Can't 100% consider myself part of the club, but a few friends affectionately refer to me as Faux-hio. I consider that a badge of honor.
What is your super power?
I'm a dabbler. Into a little bit of this and a little of that. Perhaps a jack of all trades but master of just a few. I've used this power so many times since starting Yunizon. Operating as a slim team, you have to wear many hats. It's been rewarding to see what I believed to be useless knowledge, turn into my secret strength.
How would you describe your "job" in 2 sentences or less.
Industrial product designer of eyewear, creative director, graphic designer, photographer, colorist, product logistics and production as well as unofficial business student.
How did you decide to start your own company?
Through a mutual friend I met my fellow co-founder, Rebecca Lay, over some unassuming glasses of bourbon. It quickly became clear that she was the perfect person to be my co-pilot in an entrepreneurship adventure. She had a strong background in finance with an interest in starting an eyewear company and I had 15 years experience in eyewear design/production but was stifled by the corporate hamster wheel. It just made sense to combine our unique skill set, create the perfect storm and build something relevant. We shared the idea of building something new for our diverse society and to help promote individuality. Yunizon was born with the intention to find a fit for every face and allow customers a chance to shop without conforming to stereotypical gender roles.
How would you describe your sense of style?
Bohemian with a modern twist and heavy on the accessories. I'm a Gemini and I think that my style has to feed each of the twins. One loves 70's inspired vintage with bohemian hand crafted elements. The other twin loves simplistic modern style with hints of futurism and large metal details. My outfits always reflect the dominant twin and my current mood.
Who is your style icon?
Florence Welsh and Cate Blanchett
How would you describe your sense of humor?
Sarcastic and witty. I was raised on the East Coast. It's part of who we are.
How would you describe your work style?
Straightforward. I'm a "find the root of a problem" kinda person. I tackle my work with a machete, but partner well with those that prefer to work with a fine tooth comb. I rely on planning in order to save time on execution and pride myself on always being prepared. I'm thinking about next steps even before taking the first.
What is your rallying cry when the going gets tough?
For every bad day, you'll be rewarded with a good day. The worse it is, the better it will be in the future. Just wait and you'll be able to cash in your chips.
What words of advice would you give your 10 year old self? Do you have a pic of yourself at this age that you can share?
Seize all opportunities, timing is everything and know that it really does all work out.....so chill. Oh, and the only thing that people notice when you dance is how much fun you are having. It's not the moves, it's the vibe.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Having the perfect blend of a work/life balance. Professionally, I'd love to build YUNIZON into a brand that pushes the boundaries of fashion technology and social relevance. Personally, I'd love to continue my dabbling in a relaxing and healthy family environment. I crave a backyard, hammock, grill and tons of windows.
Can you send me your favorite picture of yourself?
#1: This picture was taken around 1981 at my maternal Aunt's college house at FSU. Her roommate was a photography major and captured this amazing photo. I was a relatively shy kid in my youth (not so much in my later years) but this picture says the opposite with direct eye contact and WTF face.
#2: This picture was taken 19 years later. I love how it shows off my freckles and a better sense of self. Both of which I wasn't as secure with in my youth. Feels very up close and personal.
What would you like to see in the post pandemic world?
A true sense of reality and a love for humanity. It's time to give a hard look at our past and pin point what's been missing. I've used this "pause" to connect with loved ones, inspiring people, elements of my past and reconfiguring what my baseline looks like. There was clearly a disconnect. Technology created a reality shroud. It's time to lift it with more phone calls and less texts, more physical face time and less facebook, a strong belief that less is more, a healthy life balance and a return to individuality. Let make our interactions be genuine and actually wait for the honest answers to the common question "how are you?".